Schedule and Events

March 26-29, 2012, Software Test Professionals Conference, New Orleans
July, 14-15, 2012 - Test Coach Camp, San Jose, California
July, 16-18, 2012 - Conference for the Association for Software Testing (CAST 2012), San Jose, California
August 2012+ - At Liberty; available. Contact me by email:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CAST 2012 - Dates, CFP is up!

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you probably know that CAST 2012 is the Conference for the Association for Software Testing.

What you might not know is the exact date, location, and when is the CFP going to be live?

Good news: The Dates for CAST 2012 are public!

CAST 2012 will be a the Wyndham Hotel in San Jose, California, July 16 to 18.

Better yet, the Call for Participation (CFP) is up and active, and yes, Pete Walen and I will be back to help organize emerging topics again.

It seems that people thought Emerging Topics went well in 2011.

So well, in fact, that the entire submission-entry process for this year is going to use Socialtext.

Even if you don't want to submit a talk, you can register and comment on the talks that are submitted, expressing interest, criticism, both, or something else. :-)

So check it out. It's free to try.

See you in the wiki?

DISCLOSURE: Socialtext is donating the wiki to AST in trade for sponsorship. I, Matt Heusser, am a shareholder in Socialtext corporation. I earned those shares through stock options, as an employee, testing the product for three years. I am proud of what we built, but If you struggle to use the wiki, you can contact me with questions, yes.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gonna Send Five Copies to my mother!

My article "Ten Thoughts on Technical Debt", is the cover story for this month's Better Software Magazine.

Want to start with the dessert, then decide if it's worth paying for dinner? Why, you can download the article free off my website.

More to come.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

World Quality Month ... and More

After a year of participating in ASQ's Voices of Quality Program, it seems it's about time for me to hang up my hat.

Yes, they did graciously offer to let me renew, but, truth be told, I just don't have a lot of energy for the program, and it looks like ASQ has brought up a new batch of folks who are rarin' to go. I'm happy for them.

By now you probably know how this goes; Paul Borawski, the Executive Director of ASQ, makes a blog post, we offer our commentary, and then Paul uses that for input into future work. This month the overall subject was three-fold -- World Quality Month, "Forty Under 40", and ASQ's newest membership benefit.

I'll start with the dessert first - ASQ's new membership benefit is, Ironically enough, the ability to give away a six-month membership to a colleague who is thinking about membership but hasn't taken the plunge.

So let me say, I think membership in professional associations is a good thing. I also put my money where my mouth is.

I am a regular, dues-paying member of yes, the American Society for Quality (ASQ), the American Society for Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and the Association for Software Testing (AST), where I sit on the board of directors. I am also an expired member of the Agile Alliance. Don't get me wrong - the AA is great, but three at a time is plenty for me, and when I decided to join ASJA, with it's $160/year price tag, I decided to drop something else.

I pay those memberships out-of-pocket, and have for years; I just renewed my ASQ membership. If you'd like to see if ASQ is right for you, drop me an email -- I have a membership to give away! (If you do join, please, please, find a local chapter and some software or industry-appropriate people to hang out with. It might make a huge difference in the quality of your experience; it certainly did for me.)

So there's the dessert.

The Rest of the Stuff

World Quality Month is moving from October to November, in order to comply with World Quality Day, which is in November.

I had no idea those were even things, or, if they are things, who gets to decide them. I actually suspect that it's kind of like "Love Day" on the Simpsons; invented and moved around by the inventors.

In that, I am less than excited.

I do tend to agree with Mr. Borawski that getting more people talking about quality more publicly is probably a good thing -- I just keep getting this nagging feeling, at the back of my neck, that ideas have consequences. When we try to compress some very complex subjects into a single word "quality" - we tend to miss things. And those things can come back later to bite us. (Within the quality movement, we have some people who think quality is fitness for use; others might say it is conformance to process. Still others might say quality is value to some person. That's kind of a big deal.)

Finally, ASQ has created the "Forty Under Forty" project, which seems to me to be next year's batch of "Influential Voices" for ASQ.

I could be critical of the idea, but instead, allow me to tell you what I like about it: The project shows that ASQ is serious about seeking out new and divergent opinions within it's membership, and giving those members a platform to talk about quality, in some depth, with some nuance, for an extended period of time.

It turns out that, in my own way, I've been making a similar request for more divergent discussion throughout this year of being an influential voice.

And it's happening.

That's good.

I was pleased to participate in the 2010-2011 program. Now it's time for a new batch.

This is going to be fun.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A Couple of Announcements

1) I will be presented "Hands of Quick Attacks" on Nov 15th from 5:30 to 7:30-ish in South Bend, Indiana, at the South Bend Software Craftsmanship meetup. Registration is free, and so are the snacks!

2) The October of Software Test & Quality Assurance Magazine is out. The issue is a reflection on the Theme of "How To Reduce the Cost of Software Testing", and, yes, the folks at STP asked me to serve as guest editor. Check it out.

Selena Delesie

Catherine Powell!

Pete Walen!

Michael Larsen!

... and more!

Only the best folks, and it's free.

Like I said, check it out.

Come Work with me?

My current primary client is seeking full-time employees to fill programming, test/QA, programmer tech lead, and dev/test manager positions in Notre Dame, Indiana.

Current openings are full-time/salaried, but that may change.

You'd have to move, but relocation expenses may be negotiable.

You'd need to have no legal restrictions from working in the United States.

The office environment is open plan. The people are smart and nice -- these are people I actually want to work with, plus all the tools and techniques you would expect at a high-end agile shop big enough to have career options, not so big that it's silly. (Yes I said agile, mostly to compress into a sentence a half-dozen conflicted ideas. I will say this company is actually doing it, not doing some weird bizarro compromise.)

This year, the developers are offered the chance to attend SCNA; the testers had the option to go to CAST.

My words, of course, are my own, as is my reputation, which I stake that it's a good environment and a real opportunity.

Interested? Drop me an email: